I wasn’t aware that it was National Suicide Prevention Day. Frankly, I wasn’t aware that it existed. It isn’t part of my personal calendar, until one of my favorite authors did something brave and shared.
College was rough. I was poor when i shouldn’t have been. I was unable to pay bills, eat food. There was a Christmas where I ate goldfish crackers and Hawaiian punch.
I took a Poetry class. We wrote science poems and mine was about black matter and in the middle of class, things got jumbled in my head. I left class. We were on the fourth floor of a big old academic building with a spiral staircase. I went to the balcony, went to the wrong side of the railing and stood.
I didn’t jump.
Because my friend Amelia made me promise to call her if i felt that way. Because i had agreed to talk to someone if i felt that way. Because the poem–“Black Ibis” was a bad poem and had no business being the last thing I ever wrote.
I carried a bottle of bubbles in my bag for the rest of college. Whenever I got down, I would stop and blow bubbles.
Most of the time, I don’t talk about it. I have never had a friend commit suicide. I have not been to that place since, and i have few reasons to ever go back there. When I am down, I think about things, because I am stronger than I think I am when i’m down.
I have found my tribe. There are people that if i call them at 2am they will pick up. If i break down into tears on the phone, they will tell me to come over. I buried both of my parents, and one of my dearest friends. If i can survive that, I can survive anything.